Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Kolb Market Heats Up

Since Eagles head coach Andy Reid's comments that the Eagles will be listening to offers for backup quarterback Kevin Kolb, the buzz about teams in the Kolb sweepstakes has exploded. The team has gotten at least one offer for Kolb that comes with a first-round draft pick, likely from a high-pick team. The Eagles seem to have gone from "interested" to "how can we get the most money" about Kolb, with Reid marketing the QB like no one's business. Since trying (and failing) to re-sign QB Matt Hasselbeck, the Seattle Seahawks have made no bones about their desire to go after Kolb when the market opens up again. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said that the Seahawks tried to go after Hasselbeck, but that the money wasn't there, which sounds like an issue on Hasselbeck's end. Given the lockout, the market after the stoppage is over, and Seattle's stated interest in either Kevin Kolb or Cam Newton, holding out (or whatever derailed a re-sign) probably wasn't in Hasselbeck's best interest, though it may have boosted Kolb's stock considerably.

Another team in the mix for Number 4 (oh, the puns), is the Minnesota Vikings. Head coach Leslie Frazier has been very vocal about getting a quarterback, though his idea is a fresh-start draft pick. The obvious target for the Vikes would be Cam Newton, as they have shown interest in him already, though he may not be available by the time the Vikings pick. Unless they trade up several spots, they likely won't be willing to lay it all down for Kolb until after the draft is done. One thing is for sure, if Frazier and the Vikings management hesitates, they could lose both their leading QB candidates. At this point, I think Frazier might even entertain Favre's obligatory offseason musings of a comeback. But not for long.

As the lockout continues, it seems you can catch your beloved Philadelphia Eagles at various area gyms, since the lockout denies the players use of team facilities. While this can get taxing after a while on the players' bank accounts, one hopeful thought is that if all of the players are staying in top condition, maybe Ron Jaworski's predictions of doom won't be as inevitable.

There has been more talk of the Eagles' (and Reid's) interest in Temple's Muhammad Wilkerson, and several defensive pick ups would definitely be a good thing, especially with news that defensive end Brandon Graham will not be ready, should the season begin as scheduled, thanks to a torn ligament. Safety Nate Allen is expected to be ready to play, and the Eagles will need him to step up from his breakout rookie performance and not fall into a sophomore slump.

Lumping together Vick and NFL news, Philly's starting QB recently visited a Florida prison with mentor and advocate Tony Dungy. While there, Vick spoke to inmates and vowed to continue community outreach, lending to the (sorely needed) rehabilitation of his image. While the visit brought the obligatory "Mike Vick Goes to Prison!...As a Visitor" zingers, it also helped Vick's stock in public opinion, continuing to make the QB more acceptable as a marketable brand, despite the lingering hatred for him. Meanwhile, the NFL revised the kickoff rules (because nothing important is going on right now), setting the ball at the 35-yard line, with touchbacks being placed on the 20-yard line. Challenges have been revised, but there is a clause that teams will keep the third challenge, originally done away with, and all scoring plays are now subject to booth review. If only they could work out this whole labor dispute as quickly.

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